Betsy’s Twist on The Holiday Standards

Betsy’s Twist on The Holiday Standards

by: Betsy Peirce, Produce Manager

I am a person who likes tradition, but I am also a foodie.  So when it comes time to preparing a holiday meal, I like to include the “old standards” with a special twist.  And since my husband is a gardener extraordinaire , we inevitably have many of our own vegetables on the table.

Some holiday suggestions for twists on the familiar:

• Cook some celeriac (AKA celery root) in with your potatoes for a more flavorful mash. (or rutabagas)

• Leave the skins on your potatoes when you mash them- it really ups the nutrition!

• Roast some garlic and then toss that into your mashed potatoes with some sour cream, salt and pepper.

• Use a new kind of potato for your mashed potatoes- Red Adirondacks for pink mashed potatoes, or Blue Adirondacks for purple hued mashed potatoes, or use Yukon gold potatoes- slightly sweet and really creamy.

• Add some grated orange zest, and local apples to your cranberry relish.

• Stuff your turkey with leeks, garlic, carrots, celery root, fresh rosemary and parsley. Then puree all the veggies in with your gravy. It may sound strange, but it is really flavorful.

• Add local apples to your stuffing. The sweet and salty mixture is yummy.

• Roast yams with a slight maple drizzle and add local apples or cranberries while it’s roasting.

• Mash your squash with some lemon juice, butter and fresh grated ginger. It is really delicious.


Below is a list of items we will carry for the holiday meal:

• Local Potatoes- Reddahle, red and blue Adirondack, Yukon gold, russet, fingerlings, new red

• Green beans

• Yams & local sweet potatoes

• Local Squash- delicate, sweet dumpling, acorn, butternut, spaghetti, sunshine, kabocha, moregold , pie pumpkins and more!

• Fennel bulbs

• Local Brussels sprouts

• Spring salad mix

• Fresh baby spinach

• Fresh cranberries

• Local apples- Regent, Connell red, Cortland, Haralson

• Swiss chard and kale.

• Local leeks

• Local celery root, parsnips, rutabagas, turnips

Finally, here are a few recipes for some fun renditions. The cranberry relish is one of the best I have had.  It sounds fancy, but the flavor is unsurpassed with turkey and it’s well worth the effort. The stuffing was my grandmother’s recipe and is still my favorite comfort food.  The squash recipe got rave reviews on, which by the way is a great internet source for fun recipes.

Happy holiday cooking!

Cookin’ with betsy –

Delicaata Squash

with Rosemary, Sage, and Cider Glaze



2 medium delicata squash (about 2 pounds) or other firm winter squash

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup very coarsely chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary

1 1/2 cups fresh unfiltered apple cider or juice

1 cup water

2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper



1. Squash. If using delicata squash, peel it with a vegetable peeler, cut it lengthwise in half, and scrape out the seeds with a spoon. Cut each piece lengthwise in half again, then crosswise into 1/2-inch -thick slices. Other types of squash should be peeled with a chef’s knife, seeded, cut into 1-inch wedges, then sliced 1/2-inch thick.

2. Herb Butter. Melt the butter in a large (12-inch) skillet over low heat. Add the sage and rosemary and cook, stirring, until the butter just begins to turn golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not brown the herbs. Cooking the herbs in butter mellows their flavor and improves their texture.

3. Cooking the squash. Add the squash to the skillet, then the apple cider, water, vinegar, and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat at an even boil until the cider has boiled down to a glaze and the squash is tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Taste and season with pepper and additional salt, if needed.


Cranberry Sauce with Pinot Noir

Bon Appétit  | November 1997

Ginger, curry powder and Chinese five-spice powder turn up in this northwestern version of a classic holiday relish.



1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 cups cranberries (about 8 ounces)

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 cups Pinot Noir or other dry red wine

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger

1 teaspoon curry powder

Large pinch of Chinese five-spice powder



Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cranberries and fresh ginger; stir until cranberries begin to burst, about 3 minutes. Add wine and sugar; boil until mixture is reduced to 2 1/2 cups, about 15 minutes. Add crystallized ginger, curry powder and five-spice powder. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover; chill.) Serve sauce cold or, if desired, rewarm over low heat, stirring often.